Biden Flip-Flops On Democrats

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Tuesday the Biden administration announced the withdrawal of a Trump-era land swap in southwestern Alaska only days after it announced that it was giving its approval to an Alaskan oil project that has been heavily criticized by environmentalists.

The Biden administration had previously defended the land swap in court. However, in a statement made by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Tuesday, she announced that the 2019 land exchange between the federal government and the King Cove Corporation had been withdrawn. The land swap would have enabled the corporation to construct a road that would cross through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

In March 2021, the Biden Justice Department had defended the land swap against a 2020 decision that the exchange was not to proceed, Haaland had been confirmed in office a few days after the case. In the following May, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the swap could proceed as advocates had maintained that the roads were necessary in order for basic and medical resources to be transported across the communities.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), the only Republican on the Senate Energy Committee to support Haaland’s confirmation, is also in favor of the land swap.

A few months after the court’s decision, the Interior Department in August filed a brief against rehearing the decision stating that “any acquisition of Refuge land in Alaska through a land exchange must satisfy the purposes of conservation and protection of subsistence uses and habitat under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.” It adds that the brief does not relate to the “merits of this land exchange.”

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